A short film created as a proof of concept for a VR-based virtual puppetry technique I was working on in 2021. I have always loved the presence of the artist’s hand in their work – the strings on the Thunderbirds puppets, Jim Henson’s hand as Kermit’s skull. Ever since, let’s say, Jurassic Park there has been a vicious arms race to get computer-generated imagery to the point where it’s indistinguishable from reality. I can think of few more tedious objectives – show me things I will not see in life.

Emotional Ordinance Disposal was my first concrete attempt at creating a cohesive moving image that was both far removed from the real in its imagery, but recogniseably alive in the the movement of its characters and cameras. Every movement in this film was physically performed and recorded by me – it is puppetry far more than it is animation. Performances were recorded first, after which I could stroll inside the film at my leisure with an array of virtual cameras, taping the actions as they happened.

As for the film itself, it concerns the philosophical musings of a bomb, and a disposal technician too easily swayed by them to keep his eye on the ball. It would possibly have worked better as a play – that is why I’m glad it is not.